3/1/07

Grace Is As Grace Does


For those less observant readers, this week has been really rough. I have woken up everyday thinking this is the day that Grace & I will start to feel better. But no. Not just yet. I'm at the stage where, when I bend over, my eyes feel like they're going to pop out of my skull and land on the floor like 2 splattered egg yolks. And when I stand up, my wish is that the top of my skull does finally explode - just so some of the pressure would be alleviated.
But I'm not whining.

Our days have been filled with sleeping in that deep sleep that only a sick person can sleep. Waking up to that sweet little tickle in our dry, scratchy throats, easing that tickle, then crawling back into bed for another sick nap. We're wearing disgusting, dirty pajamas. Our hair is standing up at all sorts of weird, greasy angles. It's just boooootiful.
But really, in this sick haze I had something happen that I've been clinging to. I've had this experience that I want to make into a really beautiful post. Whether or not I can accomplish the really beautiful post part, I'm not so sure. But I'll share this little moment of sweet, sweet love.

During one of our sick naps, Gracie & I were sleeping in my bed. I guess at some point, she had awoken while I slumbered on. I was in this black, floating, sleepy abyss. No dreams. No sounds. Just sleep.
But then there was something.
And then again.
And yet again.
This light, gentle sweep - a tender brush of skin.
I lay very still, processing where I am and who is next to me.
Through the thin slits of my eyelids, I see my daughter. Resting on one hand and leaning over me.
With her tender little toddler-girl fingers, she is caressing my hair.
In the most feminine fashion, she rubs my shoulder.
Then moves back up to my hair.
She is caring for me in a way that paralyzed me with so many emotions.

I instantly got a smile on my face. Watching her as she did this. In the most quiet, loving way.
Then my heart swelled up at how pure my daughter is. How sweet of spirit she truly is.
And then I was afraid to move. I didn't want this intimate, tender moment to end.

Being the smart girl that she is, she realized I was awake. And like a bubble on a blade of grass the moment burst into thin air. There was left nothing but the feeling. The knowledge that it had happened.

It made me think back to how incredibly devastated I was when I found out I was pregnant a 2nd time. And just how devastated I was by the results of my ultrasound. See here how the lack of a pronounced penis is not evident? I do not have a good view, but if I were to bet, I'd say you're having a girl.

Oh, shit.

I had flashes of princess-stuff (oh dear god, how I hate that shit).
Absolutely, under no circumstances are you to buy us anything with the words/images of a princess, tiara or any such nonsense. Thank You!

I began to panic as I saw millions of frilly dresses, patent leather shoes, frilly socks, laced-bottomed what-nots, and faux fur embellished shirts. Ick.

I began to panic when I thought of the disconnect in my own relationship with my mother. How time has healed things over, but it's not the relationship that we both might have wanted over the years. How was I supposed to form a relationship with a daughter when I haven't been properly shown how to do so?

I relaxed a bit when my dad was ecstatic at the idea of not only another grandchild, but...
a granddaughter.
(Dad, I expected more out of you, really.)

I mean Easy-Bake Ovens. The very thought grosses me out.
Barbies. By their very nature make me want to hurl. I mean, I used to chew the feet of the two I happened to have, for cripes sakes.

I thought I had taken the time to get all prepared. My daughter can wear purple and pink...but other colors as well. She'll enjoy dirt and heavy-equipment (tractors, motorcycles, etc). The whole princess thing? Not here.

But then, she came. And I wondered how I ever had such dire thoughts about having a daughter.
And all of those things are true. She's a girl. I've managed to keep the whole princess thing at bay. She hasn't yet discovered that she can't live without Barbie. She enjoys being dirty and even tractors. When she sees Darth Vader or R2D2 she says, Ooh, Look! Star Wars!

But nothing could have prepared me for what, people like my dad, already knew.

The sweetness. The ability to look at you and melt you like a chocolate bar on a hot, summer day. The propensity to make you feel adored in a way that you've never felt before. The hugs and the squeals and the giggles that can only be so sweet coming from your own little girl.

The way in which she can be so good to me. She sits so patiently in the bathroom while I'm showering chattering away, asking me to sing songs. And as soon as I turn the water off, she's standing there, with my hair towel in her hand and a big smile on her face.

She gives without realizing that it could be painful.

People keep saying to me that I'll eventually lose her. That my time with her will be up soon and it will all be about Daddy.

On days when I'm exasperated by the close proximity of a needy individual whose whole world is wrapped up in me and only me - that is comforting news.

But the rest of the time, it is news that brings me to my knees.

3 ripples in the pond:

deb said...

She looks like such a sweetheart and I'm a little jealous because I have a sixteen year old. I remember when Rachel was like what you describe and I miss those days. But Rachel has been nicer lately, maturing I think, and we even have adult sounding converations which I enjoy and which give me hope.

Sorry you're not feeling better. The bugs going around this winter were awful.

It's nice to feel loved isn't it? Kids are so good at giving us that feeling.

jen said...

this is so terribly beautiful.

see, tab. it's just like riding a bike. look at you go.

Pippajo said...

Big, long sigh.

I remember when Red Headed Snippet was like that. Actually, though she's 11 now those moments haven't yet disappeared altogether. I've noticed she's been making a point to come over and kiss me tenderly every night before she goes to bed. She didn't used to do that. When I was sick a few nights ago, she came over and placed her hand, then her cheek on my forehead just like I do for her.

Another sigh. This was delightful.